Located a little further north, the “Cimiez” district, steeped in history, extends like an eclectic architectural laboratory, on a hill once covered with fields. Both close to the city center (5 min by car) and peaceful, it is still one of the most popular residential areas in the city. Easy accessible in terms of transport and amenities, the area nicknamed “le petit Neuilly niçois” is a delight for the liberal professions and wealthy families, attracted by the living environment and the renowned schools.
Other charms of this district include a number of prestigious residences of the former crowned heads of Northern Europe, as well as luxury hotels, all built during the “Belle Epoque” period by renowned architects, to respond to this new tourist wave seeking a milder climate in winter. Most of these establishments were transformed, after the Second World War, into high quality condominiums. The apartments are spacious, bright, often with an unobstructed view of the city and/or the sea.
From the bottom of the hill, near the city centre, you can see the “Grand Palais” and its annex, the “Petit Palais“, both built in 1911. This former 9-storey hotel complex was the tallest building built during the Belle Epoque. Then, as we go up, we discover the “Majestic“, with its gigantic volumes and Art Deco interiors, equipped with magnificent elements of woodwork and marquetry.
Continuing on Boulevard de Cimiez, on the left is an environment apart, also very popular for its proximity to the center and the very beautiful view of the Baie des Anges from the elevated floors: the quartier des Provinces (the avenues of Picardie, Normandie, Alsace, Artois, Brussels, etc.). There is a certain diversity of apartments, including large apartments and residential parks from the early 20th century, such as the former “Hermitage” hotel, with its splendid common areas and park. But also, modern buildings from the 60s and 70s, equipped with terraces and parking lots, such as, a little higher up, the “El Paradisio” residence, built in a part of the park of the famous “Villa Paradisio” (1900) of Baroness Hélène de Zuylen de Nyevelt de Haar born Rotschild. It offers luxury apartments, all with a breathtaking view of the park, the city of Nice and the Baie des Anges in the background. Also, in the same spirit even higher up, “Les Jardins de Cemenelum“, built on land that belonged to an officer of the English army, Colonel Evans, at the end of the 19th century.
On the way up, you will meet the famous and sumptuous great hotels of the Belle Epoque such as the “Riviera Palace“, the “Prince of Wales“, or the “Tony Pin“, which had from the beginning, a vocation for habitation. Among these masterpieces of the Belle époque, the “Alhambra” stands out for its neo-Moorish inspired architecture, whose many oriental decorative elements, and particularly its two large minarets, filled the fascination of the rich Europeans of the time for oriental arts. The facades and roof of the building, the entrance hall, the large hall with its chimney, the main staircase and elevator as well as the park are classified as historic monuments by decree of 20 June 2000. This building has also been awarded with the label “Heritage of the 20th century”.
Finally, at the top is the “Regina” residence, a hotel residence built in 1897 for the needs of the famous British Queen Victoria, who stayed there for several seasons during the last three years of her life. A building that from that time on met modern comfort criteria with elevators, electric lighting, central heating and hot water on each of its five floors, and offered a breathtaking view of the Baie des Anges. But the most beautiful part of the building is certainly in this huge glass wall on the ground floor, facing the park, which has a sumptuous winter garden facing south. Its 400 hotel rooms, which at the time were supposed to accommodate the sovereign’s entire court, were transformed into 98 apartments, whose large volumes will seduce an informed clientele wishing to appropriate a piece of the Côte d’Azur‘s history.